A lot of you will be thinking about the outcome of the upcoming referendum (the so-called Brexit.) So far, there has been little discussion about how it might affect the two million UK citizens currently living in other EU member states.
Our (personal) view is that even if the vote was to leave the EU there would be little in the way of substantial change to UK citizens living in France. These citizens would enjoy “acquired rights” from having resided in an EU member state. We are convinced that the Government will take every step possible to protect the benefits of expats in any withdrawal discussions.
In the unlikely event of an “exit” vote these are three possible scenarios:
1. UK retains membership in the EEA (European Economic Area) – this means that existing rules on freedom of movement would still apply.
2. A compromise solution – falls short of the existing rules but with special arrangement for certain citizens (we think this is the likely outcome).
3. No agreement between UK and EU. Even given this scenario the EU tends not to impose visa requirements on wealthy countries.
But whatever the outcome we see little in the way of substantial change to UK citizens living over here and that dreams of a happy life in France should still be realised.